Matera 2019

With an extraordinary year (2019) and path (the one that led us to 2019) behind us, the Matera-Basilicata 2019 Foundation is now working towards the future. It is true that due to the COVID-19 emergency, some projects have been postponed, others are being developed (also in light of the new perception of reality and our way of enjoying culture that will surely undergo changes), and others are still flourishing in these days and are a source of support to those who are on the front line of the current Coronavirus emergency.

With the experimental design workshop “Open Design School”, which was a pillar project of the Matera 2019 programme and legacy, thanks to various tools and professionals, 500 face shields have been created for the healthcare workers of Basilicata.

At the request of the Basilicata emergency services and in coordination with the Regional Civil Protection for the distribution, makers, professionals, digital and medical craftsmen have become involved in these activities included in the widespread digital manufacturing project developed by Officine Mediterranee, a network of Southern Italy fab labs, coordinated with the Syskrack association of Grassano (MT). The latter also launched a fundraiser for the purchase of the materials necessary for the production of another 500 face shields built with materials recovered and repurposed by the makers themselves: plastic supports created with 3D printers, elastic bands, rubber supports, PVC/PET sheets, etc.

Furthermore, for the intensive care unit of the "Madonna delle Grazie di Matera" Hospital, Open Design School has produced, in partnership with local makers, a plexiglass case that reduces exposure of the health workers to contamination when carrying out intubation and other high-risk procedures on the airways of COVID-19 patients, providing an additional protection system. The idea came from a proposal put forward by Dr Francesco Zuccaro, doctor at the Matera hospital, as well as an open data and open culture enthusiast, who suggested to the ODS team the creation of an "aerosol box" designed by a Taiwanese doctor and validated in an article in "The New England Journal of Medicine" by a team of doctors from Boston who tested its protective efficacy through simulations. Following the success of this first experiment, the Open Design School team will create new cases for other hospitals in Basilicata.

Finally, Open Design School will provide support to the tailoring workshop of the Silent Academy of Il Sicomoro Co-operative, where the boys and girls of the SPRAR project and the operators have started a small-scale production of masks made with African fabrics, with the common goal of making themselves useful at such a difficult time for the whole community.

Matera 2019 is also present online.

Collective productions, collaborations between cultural inhabitants, exchanges between different artistic identities to set up important and profound co-productions: what would cultural spaces be without the visitors, spectators, listeners, participants, and mere onlookers of the planned initiatives? That's why, for about a month now, with Matera 2019 we have fully accepted the appeal of MiBACT to spread the beauty of our artistic and creative heritage online, involving and entertaining the public at home as much as possible.

We are doing this via our social media channels both by retracing the beauty of what has been in stages and by reworking in different ways the contents collected in an immense archive of images, videos and sounds, and by bringing together excellent initiatives at a national and international level, to communicate how much beauty -despite the current circumstances- is circulating thanks to the digital grapevine, narrating the amazing miracle of amazement that is taking place on the web.

Whether they are those promoted by our partners or by small and large cultural institutions, every day we have made available our virtual spaces to share beauty and wonder, putting ourselves at the service of those who right now are following us "from home", the only place from where it is possible to look at the world today. And we will do it again. Therefore we invite you to continue to follow us and to keep us company in compliance with the main rule: stay at home!